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Hommage a Jacques Perrin is a testament to the legacy of Jacques Perrin, a true visionary in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A pioneer in both embracing and refusing new possibilities, he was first to replant all 13 grape varieties, he was a pioneer in his winemaking, but equally visionary in refusing to use chemicals in his vineyard, turning instead to organic and then biodynamic viticulture, decades ago.
Hommage a Jacques Perrin is a truly unique wine, a blend built around very old vines of Mourvedre, planted at the nothern edge of the property, itself at the northern edge of the appellation.
First crafted in 1989, to unanimous acclaim, this cuvée is only produced in vintages that meet the family's exacting standards. 2014, like almost every vintage of Hommage, will be for the patient ones. It is a vintage of compelling freshness, finesse, and elegance. A refined, almost delicate Hommage, rather than a flamboyant one, reminiscent of 2001 rather than 2007.
Production is extremely limited, to less than 6000 bottles. In 2014, it was even less.
Parker 100 points: No Hommage a Jacques Perrin was made in 2008, but the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin is an utterly perfect wine. Composed of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, and the rest Counoise and Grenache, this prodigious effort boasts an inky/blue/purple color to the rim in addition to an exceptional bouquet of camphor, roasted meats, blueberries, black cherries, black currants, truffles, beef blood, pepper, and incense. The sumptuous aromatics are followed by a wine of compelling intensity, full-bodied power, perfect balance, laser-like focus, and a finish that lasts more than a minute. The 2007's texture reminds me of the 1998 Jacques Perrin, and the freshness of the fruit and explosive aromatics are to die for. There are only 500 cases of this legend in the making, but for those lucky enough to find any, it will last for 40-60 years.
One of the great estates of the Rhone Valley, Chateau Beaucastel has been run by several generations of the Perrin family, beginning with the late Jacques Perrin (who died in 1978), then the brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois, and now their sons Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu. Beaucastel has nearly 200 acres in vine in Chateauneuf du Pape, and they have branched out with an impressive operation under the Perrin et Fils label, purchasing grapes and acquiring land (in Vinsobres and Gigondas, for example). Their goal is to become the most recognized name for high quality wines in the southern Rhone. As shrewd consumers know, one of the best values in under $10 a bottle wine is La Vieille Ferme. The Perrin et Fils cuvees include wines made from purchased grapes as well as their new acquisitions in Vinsobres, Gigondas (25 acres), and the Cotes du Rhone village of Cairanne (35 acres). The Perrins enjoyed tremendous success with their 2008 red wines, largely because yields ranged between 18 hectoliters per hectare for Beaucastel, to only 20 hectoliters per hectare for Coudoulet. The mildew that affected everyone was the culprit. The entire family acknowledged there was an extraordinary triage and culling out of the grapes at the sorting tables.